After being in oblivion for some time, IISCO’s steel plant in Burnpur (West Bengal) saw the light of day after 10,000 people — engineers, workmen and about 100 foreign experts — laboured for the past five months. The plant holds significance because the Indian Iron and Steel Company’s (IISCO) plant at Burnpur is one of the oldest in the country and had catered to the industrial needs of the state, which was booming during the 1960s. The factory was built at a cost of over Rs 16,400 crore and inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 10.
“The key challenge was encountered from the locals, who stiffly opposed shifting their deity “Jhoraburi” from the IISCO plant site. “After protracted negotiations involving the state government and extension of many facilities by ISP, the issue was resolved in June 2012 to allow commencement of its construction,” SAIL chairman C S Verma told The Indian Express.
Timely delivery of packages of machinery ordered at various stages had to be ensured despite known congestion at Kolkata and nearby ports. Restricted movement of equipment and machinery for civil and structural work at execution sites posed further hurdles besides the compact layout of the plant. All these apart from the difficult terrain and increasing the construction time, increased the quantum of work substantially over the initially estimated ones threatened to delay the project.
“A hillock (of around 160,000 cubic metres) having 2.65 million tonne of metallic scrap and dumped wastes had emerged as a major stumbling block in executing the ISP plant.
“With the help of foreign expert, the scrap was segregated, which paved the way for beginning structural works,” a senior engineer of ISP said. An unrelenting steel ministry had told the Maharatna steel company that delay in installation of machinery and facilities ay ISP would be taken seriously.
ISP’s chief of operations I C Sahu said space management within the land constraints was the most daunting task as the available land size for thre fresh project is around 950 acres . “So building a 2.5 million tonne per annum fully integrated plant including railway receiving yard, raw material storage, blending yard, coke making, iron making, steel making, continuous casting, three rolling mills and dispatch yard in an area of 950 acres was a serious challenge,” he argued. The ISP project is an avenue for the generation of jobs.
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